Previewing MONSIEUR LAZHAR

Spring Noho KCET Cinema Series returns on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 with an Oscar-nominated film Monsieur Lazhar.

[Contest is now closed!] For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the screening and the Opening Night Reception, name the film (in the comment section below) that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011.

Here is the film info from Wikipedia:

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Monsieur Lazhar is a 2011 Canadian drama film directed by Philippe Falardeau. The screenplay was developed from a one-character play by Évelyne de la Chenelière.The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.


Plot

In Montreal, an elementary school teacher kills herself. Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is quickly hired to replace her while he is experiencing a personal tragedy of his own. His wife, who was a writer, died in a criminal arson attack with her daughter and son, a fire caused by targets (along with their associates) of the last book she wrote dealing with the social and economic shortcomings in present-day Algeria, from which comes the phrase eloquently said by Bachir: "Nothing is ever really normal in Algeria." He gets to know his students despite the cultural gap that is evident from the very first lesson. As the class tries to move on from their former teacher's suicide, nobody at the school is aware of Bachir's painful past, who could be deported at any time given his status as a refugee.

Awards

The film has been selected as the Canadian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
It also won the Best Canadian Feature Film award at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and is a shortlisted nominee for Best Picture at the 2012 Genie Awards.

Director Philippe Falardeau
Review & Interview:

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'Monsieur Lazhar' Writer/Director Philippe Falardeau on the Oscars and His Film

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In a Better World was last year's foreign film Oscar winner.

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The 2011 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film was "In a Better World" from Denmark, directed by Susan Bier.